Nelson Mandela has died peacefully at home at age 95. The Globe and Mail has a good roundup of information and resources about his life. The PBS Newshour already has a show online about his life and moments after the news broke even The Onion chimed in. Rest in peace, Madiba.
Judy Rodgers, whose deceptively simple and extraordinarily delicious roast chicken made San Francisco's Zuni Cafe famous, has died. She was 57 and had been suffering from cancer for more than a year. [more inside]
The much-renowned and very influential singer, songwriter and bandleader Tabu Ley Rochereau, the legendary pioneer of soukous, has died. His music was characterized by his sweet, mellow voice, smoothly beautiful and quintessentially African vocal harmonies, and chiming, smooth-as-silk interwoven guitar melodies. Not to mention a steady, infectious beat that kept people moving on dance floors all across Africa for the past five decades. Here is but a small sampling, spanning from his very fruitful, prolific musical career: Mokolo Nakokufa, Muzina, Kaful Mayay, Bania Irene, Mongali... and since the man is said to have written as many as 3000 songs, there's plenty more out there to discover. RIP Tabu Ley Rochereau.
Last month, we lost one of the great philosophers of the 20th century. Arthur C. Danto was perhaps the most eminent voice in contemporary aesthetics. Always on the cutting edge, Danto shined a light on aesthetics in the post-art world. [more inside]
Doris Lessing, revolutionary Nobel prize-winning novelist, passed away this morning at the age of 94. [more inside]
The last remnants of the old LLC are being swept away forever. Nathan Rabin over at The Dissolve offers his own personal requiem to the store. And because moving on is part of the healing process, movie fans should prepare themselves for some final liquidation sales.
Tadeusz Mazowiecki has died. The first prime minister after the fall of communist regime in Poland was later an UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Bosnia and resigned this post in protest over the failure of international community to prevent the Srebrenica massacre. [more inside]
Marcia Wallace, the Emmy-winning voice of Edna Krabappel on “The Simpsons” and earlier Carol Kester, the receptionist on the 1970s sitcom “The Bob Newhart Show,” has died at 70 NYT LAT [more inside]
Cowell had been a racing driver, a Spitfire pilot and a prisoner of war – but her biggest challenge was to become the first person in Britain to undergo gender-reassignment surgery. Two years after Roberta Cowell's death, an obituary in the Independent. [more inside]
Laughing Past The Grave
We realize we aren’t supposed to speak ill of the dead, but we adore it, often to a perfectly scandalous degree, when others do, and especially when it’s funny.
Philip Chevron - "singer, writer, composer, punk rocker, poet, Radiator, Pogue" - passed away from esophageal cancer on October 8th, far too young at only 56. He was most widely known as the Pogues’ rhythm guitarist, who penned "Thousands Are Sailing", a haunting ballad about Irish immigration to the USA that quickly became a live favourite (in later shows usually sung by Phil himself). [more inside]
Character actor Ed Lauter has died. In a career that spanned over forty years, he was a familiar face on both television and film (and active until the end with appearances in "Trouble With The Curve" and "The Artist"). And with the greatest respect and affection, he also costarred in one the greatest bad films of the eighties.
5 Minutes With Kumar, episodes 2 - 3 - 4
The Rituals of Kumar
“THE YOUNG AGE IS A STUPID AGE”
NO HUSTLE, NO BUSTLE
An interview with Kumar Pallana (1918-2013).
The Rituals of Kumar
“THE YOUNG AGE IS A STUPID AGE”
NO HUSTLE, NO BUSTLE
An interview with Kumar Pallana (1918-2013).
Scott Carpenter has died at 88. As the commander of Aurora 7 in 1962, Carpenter was the second Mercury astronaut to orbit the Earth. He is best known for having wished his friend John Glenn "Godspeed" as the latter launched into orbit. [more inside]
“There is no doubt some of Read’s stories are embellished, polished or, in some cases, stolen, but there is also no doubt that through the 1970s and 80s he was one of the most dangerous men in Australia.” RIP Mark 'Chopper' Read [more inside]
'Legendary Vietnam Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap dies.' 'Vo Nguyen Giap, the brilliant and ruthless self-taught general who drove the French out of Vietnam to free it from colonial rule and later forced the Americans to abandon their grueling effort to save the country from communism, has died. At age 102, he was the last of Vietnam's old-guard revolutionaries.' 'To military scholars around the world, he was one of the 20th century’s leading practitioners of modern revolutionary guerrilla warfare.' [more inside]
A Culinary Giant Perhaps like no other food writer, Marcella Hazan, helped intergrate a foreign cuisine into American culture with her no-nonsense and easy to understand approach. Mrs. Hazan passed way yesterday a the ripe old age of 89. Her simple tomato sauce is legendary - she made all of us better cooks and eaters.
"Her wood carvings were made from ironing boards, breadboards, old ships' timbers and in one case an old wooden toilet seat. Her jewellery was made from a cut-up caravan." (Obituary.) There's not much on the web about this woman, but what there is, is gold. [more inside]
Eiji Toyoda, architect of the “lean manufacturing” method helped turned the automaker Toyota, into a global powerhouse and changed the face of modern manufacturing. 'In almost six decades with the company he helped transform a tiny spinoff of a textile loom maker into the world’s biggest automaker. Early on, he helped put Toyota at the forefront of a wave of automobile production in Japan, pushing it to bolster its lineup, first by adding compact vehicles and sports cars in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s he initiated the development of luxury models to compete with the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW, culminating with the Lexus brand in 1989.' [more inside]
Pioneering Dutch electronic/tape composer Dick Raaijmakers has died. Raaijmakers was an early adopter of electronic technology for music production, and his work in the field expanded far beyond the laboratory to include film, theater, installations and visual art, and literature. He wrote for orchestras, percussion ensembles, educational and industrial films, Satie-inspired ambient and background environments, and unorthodox "musical" objects such as tractors and bicycles. He was also a noted essayist and author on new concepts and applications related to sound. [more inside]
Blue II, the beloved mascot for Butler University, died of Cushing's Syndrome on Saturday. After his show-stopping appearance on the court during March Madness 2008, Blue maintained a high profile on various social platforms. His webcam was one of the most popular sites visited at Butler. He is survived by his owners, the Kaltenmarks, and by his protege, Trip. Blue II's last words.
Tommy "The Duke" Morrison, grand nephew of John Wayne, former WBO heavyweight champion, co-star of Rocky V, and, later, supporter of the HIV Denial movement, has passed away at 44. [more inside]
Noted science fiction author, editor, and SFWA Grand Master Frederik Pohl has died. His granddaughter announced the news via her twitter account. Pohl was born in 1919 (the same year stainless steel was patented and a year before the first commercially licensed radio station in the US) and after nearly a century of imagining the near and far future, and sharing that with the world, he was still updating his blog [previously] on a regular basis until his death.
The poet Seamus Heaney has died aged 74. "There's a summons in those first words; they're like a tuning fork": a long interview from 1997. Metafilter's 70th birthday celebration. Some poems. [more inside]
Hyon Song-wol, North Korean pop star and rumoured lover of Kim Jong Un, has reportedly been executed by firing squad. The singer, previously noted on Mefi for her 2005 video Excellent Horse-Like Lady, was reportedly arrested on August 17 and was executed with others on August 20.
Actress Julie Harris, best known for roles in the film East of Eden and on television's Knots Landing, has died at the age of 87. [more inside]
Jose Julio Sarria, Her Royal Majesty, Empress of San Francisco, Jose I, The Widow Norton, passed away on August 19th, at the age of 91. [more inside]
Barbara Mertz, whose writing career encompassed over sixty books and three nom de plumes, has died at the age of 85. As Barbara Mertz, she wrote scholarly books on Egyptology after receiving a doctorate from the from the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago in 1951, but then turned her hand to writing fiction under the names Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels. [more inside]
Julius Chambers forever changed public education in the United States (and through it, American society) Although his biography includes a storied law career, being president of the North Carolina NAACP, and being president of North Carolina Central University, Julius Chambers is best known for arguing the Supreme Court case Swann v Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education which led to busing for integration first in Charlotte and then in school districts throughout the country. This federal ruling stated that it was not sufficient to remove laws requiring segregation but rather policies must be implemented to actively integrate public schools. [more inside]
Maalin told The Boston Globe in 2006 that he had several opportunities to receive the smallpox vaccine, but initially avoided it because he was afraid the shot would hurt. "Now when I meet parents who refuse to give their children the polio vaccine," he told the Globe, "I tell them my story. I tell them how important these [polio] vaccines are. I tell them not to do something foolish like me." -- Ali Maow Maalin was the last person in the world ever to get smallpox and dedicated his life to help eradicate another disease, polio, in his home country of Somalia. Sadly he passed away two weeks ago.
Sadly true, at 74. (JJ Cale previously, and Wikipedia.) Otherwise best to just let the man and his guitar speak for themselves via classic albums such as Troubadour, Grasshopper, Naturally, Okie and Shades.
Willie Reed, key witness in the Emmett Till case, has died in Chicago at age 76. Reed was an 18-year-old sharecropper who witnessed Emmett Till's murder in August 1955. Despite being threatened at gunpoint by J.W. Milam, one of Till's killers, Reed came forward to serve as a surprise witness for the prosecution at trial [PDF of Reed's testimony]. [more inside]
Helen Thomas (Previously and Previously and Previously), who covered ten different administrations in her 49 years in the White House Press Corps (and maintained her rabble rouser image with both Republican and Democratic administrations), has died at age 92.
Talia Castellano, the 13-year-old terminal cancer patient whose makeup tips made her a YouTube star, an honorary Cover Girl and a guest on Ellen DeGeneres's talk show, has died at age 13. [more inside]
Cory Monteith, star of Glee, was found dead yesterday in a Vancouver hotel room. Although it will take some time for the autopsy results to become available, the police do not suspect foul play, and most media outlets have been referring to Monteith's history of substance abuse as a likely cause of his unexpected death. Unlike many other young stars, his struggle with addiction began long before fame hit, as he first recounted to Parade Magazine in 2011. This past March, he voluntarily checked into rehab for a second stint. After the release of the article, he spoke with George Stroumboupoulos to discuss his reasons for disclosing his past mistakes in such a public way. Early during the show's first season, Monteith recorded a video diary of his first trip to New York City.
"In life, things happen twice if you're lucky. There's the father you get and the father you choose." [more inside]
Ryan Davis, co-founder of gaming website Giantbomb, passed away on July 3rd. He was 34 years old. He had been married less than a week and was on his honeymoon. [more inside]
It's time to say farewell to one of the great and legendary voices of American music. Mr Bobby 'Blue' Bland has died. With the perfect combination of muscle and tenderness, grit and sweetness, he gave us so many stellar performances over his long career. Here are but a few: Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City, The Way You Treated Me, Stormy Monday, Further Up the Road, St. James Infirmary, I'll Take Care of You, I Stand Accused, That's the Way Love Is, Ain't Nothing You Can Do... and the list goes on. Thanks for the music, Bobby Bland.
James Gandolfini, best known for his portrayal of Tony Soprano on The Sopranos, has died at the age of 51. [more inside]
Country crooner Slim Whitman has passed away at the grand old age of 90. His gentle, relaxed and pristine voice (featuring an effortlessly soaring falsetto and a mighty fine yodel, friends) is the kind that, well, you just don't really hear anymore on the pop music landscape. Let's take a moment to revisit a musical aesthetic that now seems a million miles away... Cattle Call, Rose Marie, North Wind, Blues Stay Away From Me and Indian Love Call. So long and happy trails, Slim.
Esther Williams, swimming champion, movie star and inspiration to many, dies peacefully in her sleep, aged 91. [more inside]